European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 114, Issue 7, pp 1377–1384 | Cite as

Circulating angiogenic and inflammatory cytokine responses to acute aerobic exercise in trained and sedentary young men

  • Rian Q. Landers-Ramos
  • Nathan T. Jenkins
  • Espen E. Spangenburg
  • James M. Hagberg
  • Steven J. PriorEmail author
Original Article



Endurance exercise training can ameliorate many cardiovascular and metabolic disorders and attenuate responses to inflammatory stimuli. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the angiogenic and pro-inflammatory cytokine response to acute endurance exercise differs between endurance-trained and sedentary young men.


Ten endurance-trained and ten sedentary healthy young men performed 30 min of treadmill running at 75 % VO2max with blood sampling before and after exercise. Plasma concentrations of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-8, IL-6, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), placental growth factor (PlGF), and soluble VEGF receptor-1 (sFlt-1) were measured by multiplex ELISA.


Acute exercise increased IL-6 by 165 % (P < 0.05), IL-8 by 32 % (P < 0.05), PlGF by ~16 % (P < 0.05), sFlt-1 by 36 % (P < 0.001), and tended to increase bFGF by ~25 % (P = 0.06) in main effects analyses. TNF-α and VEGF did not change significantly with exercise in either group. Contrary to our hypothesis, there were no significant differences in TNF-α, IL-6, VEGF, bFGF, PlGF, or sFlt-1 between groups before or after acute exercise; however, there was a tendency for IL-8 concentrations to be higher in endurance-trained subjects compared to sedentary subjects (P = 0.06).


These results indicate that 30 min of treadmill running at 75 % VO2max produces a systemic angiogenic and inflammatory reaction, but endurance exercise training does not appear to significantly alter these responses in healthy young men.


Exercise training Inflammation Growth factors Interleukin Endurance exercise 



American College of Sports Medicine


Basic fibroblast growth factor


Body mass index




Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay




Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs


Placental growth factor


Soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1


Tumor necrosis factor-alpha


Vascular endothelial growth factor


Maximal oxygen uptake



This study was supported by the University of Maryland’s Kinesiology Graduate Research Initiative Fund (to NTJ), the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC), and the University of Maryland Claude D. Pepper Center (P30-AG028747). NTJ and RQL were supported by T32-AG200068 (to JMH), and SJP was supported by a Veterans Affairs Career Development Award and is currently supported by K23-AG040775. The current affiliation for NTJ is the Department of Kinesiology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg(outside the USA) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rian Q. Landers-Ramos
    • 1
    • 3
  • Nathan T. Jenkins
    • 1
  • Espen E. Spangenburg
    • 1
  • James M. Hagberg
    • 1
  • Steven J. Prior
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, Department of MedicineUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Baltimore Veterans Affairs Research and Development Services and Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical CenterBaltimoreUSA

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